Reviewer: ThisIsNotMe
Date: 01/26/08 6:16
Chapter: Interviews

I really enjoyed this story. It had a good balance of humour and seriousness. I also liked the fact that it was different - a pairing that's unuasual, as well as delving into a topic that most people tend to shy away from. I thought that Jon was portrayed very well (did he have autism?) and that the issues surrounding that were dealt with very, very well.
Thankyou for sharing such an excellent story!

Reviewer: Sly Severus
Date: 08/31/07 23:45
Chapter: Interviews

Masky! This story is really great. I was totally sucked in. It took me awhile to realize exactly what was going on, but I’m probably just having a slow night. You know I have those. Once I grasped it, I was reminded of Mary Poppins. :D


The two sounds chased each other around the room, stealing the joy from the house; the slamming of a door, and the sharp exhalation of a frustrated male breath. As they died away, tumbling past each other up the stairs, the cottage sagged. It wasn’t grand enough for it’s master, wasn’t the mansion that people expected. It’s cheerful colors and plain decorations weren’t what a hero was supposed to have, and it’s occupants were far from glorious.


Wow. This is a really strong start. I can imagine this as Harry’s life. He’s so drawn to the ordinary, but the whole world would expect his life to be luxurious and special. I don’t ever see Harry having a Malfoy-lifestyle. He’s happy just being like everyone else. I don’t really understand that, personally. :p


One little nitpick, in this excerpt you have misused it’s twice. It’s cheerful colors should be Its cheerful colors. The same thing with its master.


The war had taught the better part of him not to expect fairness from his fellow humans, and the righteous anger died away quickly.
I loved this line. It really shows that Harry learned something from the war. Honestly, in his younger years, he seemed a little hopeless in that area. Although it is rather sad that the lesson he learned was so harsh.


Jon was really cute. I liked how he was connected to his father’s feelings. He seems a little young to really pick on emotion, so it seemed like a special bond to me. However, I was surprised that he had taken to speaking in snake language. I would think it would take a child longer to master that than English. Of course, I could be wrong since Harry just started speaking it without even realizing it…


I also really liked Sarah. She had a sad background, but in a way it was similar to that of Harry and Voldemort. It’s nice to see that her kindness could survive a harsh upbringing. I hope she has a happy life with Harry and Luna. By the way, cute pair. I don’t think I’ve ever read them together.


Anyway, I really enjoyed your story. Good luck with your future writing and I shall try to check out more of your work. *hugs*


Author's Response: Gah. It's and its are my personal demons. I *know* them, but I can't type them, and I can't see them. You're not the only one who's been a bit lost - if I ever rewrite this story I'll try to make it a bit more obvious. Every child that I've ever seen has been extremely responsive to their parent's anger. I was using the theory that Jon could speak Parsletongue as easily as Harry first did, to the extent that he knew how, since it's an enchanted language. NEVER READ HARRY/LUNA?!? Horror! Thank you very much for the review. It completely made my evening.

Reviewer: Hermione Lurves Ron
Date: 04/04/07 19:29
Chapter: Interviews

I like it, but it's also kinda boring. Sorry!

Author's Response: Thank you for reviewing - It's a gift fic, written to specification - a scene Deanine wanted to read. And it's fluff. So boring isn't really bad. My other fics have more plot :-p

Reviewer: kumydabookworm
Date: 01/01/07 21:12
Chapter: Interviews

Merlin. No words to describe this. It's so short, yet there's so many things to be complimented. *ahem* Take your insulin if you must - huge amounts of sugar coming your way.

First, the beginning. I've personally been working hard on my beginnings, and this is something I've really wanted to try. You executed it perfectly - the opening with dialogue between two characters. It practically throws the reader (in a good way) into the scene.

I love your subtle introduction of what it going on. You never directly say that Jon can speak Parseltongue or that the Potters are looking for a nanny, but it is implied, and it is perfect.

All in all, the strongest part of this story is its ability to show rather than tell - and its subtle use of dialogue. You've told me, Mask, before that you don't like to use many words or a lot of narration.

You pull off this story without either, and that takes an inordinate amount of skill. I applaud you! :)

To end, I shall make a small nitpick. Or maybe three.

First, Harry would have done the background check BEFORE Jon met Sarah. It's not clear whether he does it or not - is it a spell?

Second, the hussed line: Does she make daddy angry, too? Daddy should be capitalized.

Finally, the last paragraph changes tone from the rest of the piece. I'm not sure how I feel about the ending because this part is narration. To me, it comes off a bit distant...like the ending of a fairy tale.

I don't hate the ending, but it doesn't grab me like the rest of it does. Not really criticism as there's nothing wrong with it, but something to think about.

Oh, and I nearly forgot! Your OCs are brilliant. We get an immediate sense of Sarah from her dialogue. I may have liked to see more of Jon, but seeing as he was a minor character in this story and also very young...I don't know if you really should include more. It may take away from the plot line. Regardless, I immediately connected to both of them.

Great work, Mask, as always. You leave me in awe of your abilities.

Love,
Kumy

Author's Response: *squee squee squee* Thank you for the review! I'm glad you like Sarah and Jon. Sarah is in ToD as well, so she was all set up. Jon is pretty young in this - he has a hard time talking in English still. And the ending... well, I needed it to *end*, and their story kept going. So I stepped out of the scene a bit.

Reviewer: babekitty_92
Date: 12/24/06 0:16
Chapter: Interviews

Very nice! How cute! I liked it, it was something out of the ordinary yet not, if you get my drift. Well done, I am now hooked and I'm going to read more of your writings. Well done!
Abbi :)

Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review :)

Reviewer: SupremeMugwump
Date: 11/08/06 17:45
Chapter: Interviews

A very sweet but odd story. What exactly is wrong with Jon? He obviously speaks in third person and in Parseltongue at that, but how did he become this way?

Reviewer: The Half Blood Prince
Date: 08/09/06 13:51
Chapter: Interviews

Sometimes it happens: you find a story balancing between decorum and pain in such a way it stirs you from inside. At the Little House with the Garden did exactly that with me. I felt as if a part of the story, how it at first lingered (description slow as I’m introduced to the story, and to Jon), then plunged into what I consider serves as a great ending. (As it enclosed the questions I wondered about at the beginning, and left me with the feeling of understanding, along with nicely tying the end with the title.)


That, I think, was undeniably the strongest point in this story: the structure it held and, as a result, how the rhythm changed throughout the one-shot, beginning with slow, relevant description, moving on to the middle with a slightly faster pace, and ending the piece with resonance:


But most importantly, Sarah was just a little bit different, which made her just right for the little house with the garden.


As far as that ending goes, it’s incredibly effective mostly due to the fact that you tie the end with the title, leaving aforementioned resonance to the piece as a whole.


Although I could undoubtedly spend much time reiterating what the other said (how lovely a prose you have, how lovely characterisation there is on Luna, on Jon, on Harry), I have a few nit-picks (although, they were difficult to find, and perhaps more opinions than mere grammar mistakes on your part):


Harry stood, pacing across the room. The floorboard creaked under his feet, and silent tears began to fall from the child’s eyes. Daddy was angry.


I am in no way against usage of adjectives, or adverbs, but I think that, in this case, “silent” is unnecessary, redundant. As far as I know tears always trickle down one’s skin silently (not loudly). Sometimes, of course, one use adjectives or adverbs to add to the flow of the sentence; but, in this case, I don’t think the adjective added to the sentence on any level (neither helping the mental image nor the flow). Also, I think I would use a colon after “eyes” because, or at least the way saw the sentence, the child began to cry as a result of Daddy’s mood. (New sentences reads: Harry stood, pacing across the room. The floorboard creaked under his feet, and tears began to fall from the child’s eyes: Daddy was angry.)


She cast the shield silently and effectively, directing the rebounding spell harmlessly into the ceiling.



This is, merely, a matter of predilection, but I’d remove “harmlessly” (it appears redundant to me when reading) and change the beginning of the sentence into something like this:


She cast the shield (silently, effectively), directing the rebounding spell into the ceiling.


In my opinion, the pause after “silently” creates a sort of staccato rhythm that seems to produce another dimension to the sentence and its cadence.


Apart from those nitty-gritty comments, I would (nearly) say this is as close to a faultless one-shot one could find; in my mind, brilliant, heartfelt, echo-esque.


(Also, on a considered thought, I think I may have become a fervent Masked One fanboy!)

Reviewer: The Half Blood Prince
Date: 08/09/06 12:59
Chapter: Interviews

Sometimes it happens: you find a story balancing between decorum and pain in such a way it stirs you from inside. At the Little House with the Garden did exactly that with me. I felt as if a part of the story, how it at first lingered (description slow as I’m introduced to the story, and to Jon), then plunged into what I consider serves as a great ending. (As it enclosed the questions I wondered on at the beginning, and left me with the “Ah” understanding, along with tying the title with the end.)



That, I think, was undeniably the strongest point in this story: the structure it held and, as the result, how the rhythm changed throughout the one-shot, beginning with slow, relevant description, moving on to the middle with a slightly faster pace, and ending the piece with resonance:



“But most importantly, Sarah was just a little bit different, which made her just right for the little house with the garden.”



As far as this ending goes, it’s incredibly effect mostly due to the fact that you tie the end with the title, leaving aforementioned resonance to the piece.



Although I could undoubtedly spend much time reiterating what the other said (how lovely a prose you have, how lovely characterisation there is on Luna, on Jon, on Harry), I have a few nit-picks (although, they were difficult to find, and perhaps more opinions than grammar mistakes on your part):



Harry stood, pacing across the room. The floorboard creaked under his feet, and silent tears began to fall from the child’s eyes. Daddy was angry.



I am in no way against usage of adjectives, or adverbs, but I think that, in this case, “silent” is unnecessary, redundant. As far as I know tears trickle down one’s skin silently (not loudly). Sometimes, of course, one use adjectives or adverbs to add to the flow of the sentence; but, in this case, I don’t think the adjective added on any level (neither helping mental image nor flow). Also, I think I would use a colon after “eyes” because, or at least the way I understood the sentence, the child began to cry as a result of Daddy’s mood. (New sentences reads: Harry stood, pacing across the room. The floorboard creaked under his feet, and tears began to fall from the child’s eyes: Daddy was angry.)



She cast the shield silently and effectively, directing the rebounding spell harmlessly into the ceiling.



This is, merely, a matter of predilection, but I’d remove “harmlessly” (it appears redundant to me when reading) and change the beginning of the sentence into something like this:



She cast the shield (silently, effectively), directing the rebounding spell into the ceiling.



In my opinion, the pause after “silently” creates a sort of staccato rhythm that seems to produce another dimension to the sentence and its cadence.



Apart from those nitty-gritty comments, I would (nearly) say this is as close to a faultless one-shot one could find; in my mind, brilliant, heartfelt, echo-esque.



(Also, on a considered thought, I think I may have become a fervent Masked One fanboy!)

Reviewer: HermioneDancr
Date: 04/23/06 21:03
Chapter: Interviews

I'm ashamed to say I hadn't read this story before tonight. I'd heard it was good, but... Well, there isn't really any excuse, especially since I convince I have a soft spot for Harry/Luna (though recently I've found Draco/Luna to be fascinating). Now... on to the actual story.


I find it interesting how you personify the house in the first paragraph. Is it just personification, or is the house really sentient? I'm leaning towards it being sentient (this is the magical world, after all, though sentient buildings are a rarity even there), but I'm not totally sure. And if the house is sentient... I know the ending is already good and already has a feeling of finality, but there is a part of me that wants it to come full circle. It may sound odd, but I want to know how the house feels about Sarah Grey.


As usual (I almost feel redundant saying it), I love your characterizations. Luna's concerns about Snorkle Pox were pretty perfect (not to mention they made me chuckle). Harry's protectiveness of his loved ones was also excellent. The Harry Potter you portray is not the Harry Potter we know from the books, though his younger self does shine through. He is clearly an adult with adult concerns. And he's exceedingly protective of his young son, which is very believable, not to mention endearing.


I also really liked how you used the parenthetical statements with the italicized adjectives. It somehow conveyed to me both the reality of the situation and Jon's understanding of it. Or at least that's how it came across to me... In any event, I liked them. I confess they made me bite my lip in sympathy for the kid.


This one-shot has made curious as to Sarah Grey and what will happen to her over the course of Texture of Darkness. As if I wasn't already addicted enough to it >.>. Have you considered writing further one-shots taking place after this one? I'd kind of like to see how you'd show Jon growing up and Luna and Harry getting old. *Just got frighteningly believable mental images of Luna as a batty old woman* Plus I'm still curious about Sarah. If you were to write another story set after this one, I would certainly read it.

Reviewer: QueenHal
Date: 04/03/06 4:02
Chapter: Interviews

Mask! How perfectly enchanting! I've read your writing before... but this... this was just something really special. You have this light humor paired with a flowing, serene narrative, and the dark undertones of prejudice and injustice. And then you have... this new, unique, but at the same time, rational storyline. It's a balance that works wonderfully, and I enjoyed every word.

Now, I want you to write more. And, consider for a second that you were to write more....

I'm intrigued by Jon... especially when you reveal what his “evil” inheritance is. It's something I've never considered, but certainly could lead to an incredible story... I do hope that's what you would do with this. Jon's story. It's so easy for “next-generation” fics (*cringes* I hate that term) to become cliché. But if there is anyone to write it.... it's you. A brilliant writer coupled with fantastic ideas? YES please!

But perhaps that isn't your intention at all for this story... perhaps you're focusing on Miss Sarah Grey. She's a character that I already can tell has a much deeper story to tell. I'd love to see how her soft demeanor affects the Potter family. How her presence in Jon's life influences him in the future... oh yes, so much potential here.

So, here's the thing. Next time I'm in a position to request something from you, I'm 100% sure that it will be something about one of the above two characters. Fantastic, Miss Mask... you really have me pining for more.

Reviewer: Astrea
Date: 03/30/06 17:20
Chapter: Interviews

Wow… I never thought that this was what this story was about. It’s so cute Mask! For some reason I never imagined Harry and Luna’s children. And this little plot is definitely different; I don’t think I’ve really ever read anything like it before.

I can just picture something like this happening but maybe with Ginny and Harry being interrogated by the Weasley men. Lol.

I don’t know if I am being nit pickety because I honestly enjoyed the little story. But, Jon’s character seems too… easy. Something from Harry, something from Luna and poof = kid.

I do like what you mentioned at the beginning of the serious undertones. I could see them. How people and society expect people to be a certain way. Sometimes people feel they have to be that way merely because that is how they are viewed. The little house, the quiet life, people prying in, I can only imagine that things would be worse after the war. That people would pile even more expectations on Harry and his family. It’s sad really, but I like how you presented it here in a different way than the usual Harry runs from it all view (which I don’t think he will).

Overall, a nice little story with some big themes in a little fluffy but not fluffy story.

Reviewer: Cinderella Angelina
Date: 03/29/06 20:04
Chapter: Interviews

Okay, it is time to produce the penance I have been meaning for months to do – ever since I first read this story, in fact. It’s nice to be forced to do it, because it means that it will actually get done, and I want you to know how much I enjoy this story every time I read it – I must be upwards of ten reads by now.

The first paragraph is just so perfectly executed to draw the reader in. And it begins to show the problems Harry and Luna are facing right away. They’re up against prejudice and expectations, we can tell at once. And the introduction of the youngest member of the family is well done, too – this last time I read it I noticed that he really must have his mother’s eyes, not to mention his father’s hair. Interestingly enough (and this is just an example of what a scatterbrain I am) I hardly noticed that it was winter because the atmosphere inside the house was so warm and cheerful. Even reading “frozen garden” millions of times didn’t make the connection for me.

I also just noticed how Jon refused to cry because of shame, but he started crying when he saw how angry his father was. What a nice touch. Interesting that there’s a part of Harry that clings to fairness but a better part that knows better. I’m not sure what exactly “better” refers to – I rather like the ambiguity, actually – but it’s an interesting thought. All sorts of things I’m realizing! What an amazing story you have here!

Miss Sarah seemed almost too good to be true. I especially found it funny when she was so concerned about Snorkle Pox – maybe she wasn’t familiar with the Lovegood reputation, or maybe she took everything seriously, but that was one of my favorite lines. I also noticed that we don’t know if Snorkle Pox really exists – we rarely do when dealing with Luna – but there’s a real test for it and apparently it’s uncomfortable.

The background check seemed a little out of place after all of the other rigorous testing Sarah went through. Funny how something as commonplace as a background check – which happens for every nanny, I think – occurs for even this family.

I like this story very much. It never gets old and the resolution is so satisfying – it’s pleasing to read a story where everything works out perfectly, finally, after so much pain and hard work on all sides. Well done, Mask!

Have a nice day! *D*

Reviewer: Harriet Evans
Date: 03/27/06 16:17
Chapter: Interviews

That was beautifully done, Mask. You created a very nice atmosphere for the Potter household, and your adult versions of Harry and Luna seemed entirely plausible. What an interesting character was your Sarah Grey! This was my favourite line:When she saw Harry’s surprise, she bristled. “You’re not the only one who fought in the war, Mr. Potter.” You've created a lovely little world and a special story with a great message. Well done, I enjoyed it immensely.

Reviewer: TheVanishingAct
Date: 03/20/06 16:45
Chapter: Interviews

Maskie! [Uhm... I just had some weird desire to call you that. I hope you don't mind, my dear] Well, this has been on my to review list for quite some time now, and after you won the "Riddles 'r' Us" challenge, I figured it was high time to get off my lazy butt and review. I've read this about three times now, and I still love the little details you have written to create the world of wizards. Wizarding World. Whatever. So many little details that show exactly how the Wizarding World expected Harry's home to be, and yet it was not -- gorgeous, m'dear. Simply put, that is.

The beginning gives a sense of wonderment; it is obvious that it's Luna and Harry with their child, since the details you expertly crafted explain this, but what are they doing? I wondered myself the first time I had read it, and found out later -- but that since of curiosity doesn't go away until the question is answered. And your characterization is spot on and fun to read. How can you make something dark and uplifting at the same time? I have no clue. But you managed it.

I love the little child you wrote. the parenthesis that show what others think of him rather than what it really looks like is very interesting, and a nice touch to an already impressive piece. He's so sweet, and obviously sensitive, and wonders what's going wrong. It makes me want to reach into the picture of my mind, grab him, and cuddle him for some comfort. You created some sympathy as well! And still, we wonder what possibly could be going on, but we now know it has to do with the boy, and is making Harry angry. Interesting.

This wasn’t a social occasion, and after two days of unsuccessful and increasingly frustrating interviews, neither Harry nor Luna were feeling talkative. Ah! Interviews, do you say? I was simply dying to know what is happening now. I enjoy Harry's reactions and the questions that followed; the way you told the story was quite enjoyable to say the least, especially in this section. And I like the way the interview was holding up -- Sarah was doing quite well, and I immediately liked her because of the attitude she showed. So nice!

I LOVED THE SARAH AND JON INTERACTION. GUH. LOVE. That is all.

Keep writing! It was simply wonderful, fabulous read, and one of my favourite one shots. Keep getting those little plot bunnies... they, in turn, give wonderful results.

Reviewer: Hamstergeist
Date: 03/20/06 8:00
Chapter: Interviews

Squeak Squeak Squeak! Yummy story! I like little houses with gardens. *looks longingly towards Yorkshire*

One little thing, and maybe my tiny undead rodent brain is just being silly, but: It wasn’t grand enough for it’s master "It" is an exception to rules about possession and apostrophes. Methinks it should be: It wasn't grand enough for [its] master.

Squeak Squeak Squeak.

Author's Response: You're right, of course. Silly error...

Reviewer: Starmaiden
Date: 03/19/06 16:54
Chapter: Interviews

Hm. I'm not quite sure what to feel about that, but it's very good. There were several things I really liked about this fic. It had a kind of dreamy feel, with the sounds and the repetition of the "house with a garden bit". I also thought it very clever that it was actually easier for Jon to speak Parseltongue -- it makes perfect sense. So does the rather lengthy, slightly over-protective interview process. It's all very sweet, and it makes me curious about the rest of Jon's story. Great job!

Reviewer: LadyAlesha
Date: 03/19/06 8:49
Chapter: Interviews

I don’t know what I expected when I clicked on the link to this fic, but that certainly wasn’t it. I like it, I like it a lot actually. Everything just fit together, the small house that is perfect for Harry and Luna, Luna’s question about the Snorkle Pox, Harry’s frustration. All of it fits in well with what JKR gave us in canon.

I simply adore Jon. I wanted to go over to him and hug him the entire time. The way he gets sad when his dad is angry is just plain adorable. I couldn’t wait to find out how he is different ever since you mentioned the girl being afraid of him at the beginning. I’m kind of slow today, so being a Parselmouth didn’t occur to me, not even after you said that it is a power the heirs of Slytherin possessed.

As they died away, tumbling past each other up the stairs, the cottage sagged. I’m not too sure about the use of ‘tumbling’ here. Tumbling to me suggest something falling down, not going up, maybe another verb would fit in better. But this is just me being nit-picky. I love the imagery in this sentence and that’s really why it stood out to me, I only noticed the verb on reading it a second time.

I love the ending. Sarah is just perfect for the job, because someone normal wouldn’t fit into Harry and Luna’s little world. I guess it must be a relief to Harry that she doesn’t hero-worship him. I’d love to get a glimpse of a day in summer when the whole family plus Sarah are out in the garden together^^

Reviewer: deanine
Date: 02/26/06 21:56
Chapter: Interviews

This is a special fic, and not just because it was written for me, though that makes it extra special to me.

This story has it all, drama, angst, love, comedy, and the catharsis comes at exactly the right moment.

Harry and Luna support effectively, but Jon is the star. This fic has lovely balance. Jon isn't living a charmed life, but he's loved. It obvious that even as young as he is, he realizes that he's different, that there's something about him that makes others unsure/afraid.

Constructive comment: This fic ends way too soon. I want more! :)

Reviewer: Blossomlily
Date: 02/19/06 6:56
Chapter: Interviews

That was really good. It was very different and I think you've portrayed both Harry and Luna perfectly. I like how you subtly brought in Jon's 'abilities'. Well done and great job.

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